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As Legislature Debates Health Care, Voter ID, Politician Asks: Just How Dumb Are Women?

Categories: Politics

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Rep. Kevin Engler.
Missouri State Representative Kevin Engler doesn't think women are dumb.

After all, says Engler, the Republican representative for Perry, Ste. Genevieve and St. Francois counties, the women in his district aren't so dumb that they can't access food stamps, Medicaid, and other government benefits.

So they should also be able to get a photo ID, he says.

The issue came to a head during a House debate on a bill and a constitutional amendment that would require voters to present photo IDs. Rep. Stacey Newman, a Democrat from St. Louis, argued the bill would put a significant burden on women.

And that ticked Engler off.

"For these districts in urban and in St. Louis city, their women are too dumb," Engler said during the February 26 testimony on the voter ID bill. "They can't get IDs. They are smart enough to decide whether or not to have an abortion, and we want them to have that decision. But they're not smart enough to get an ID. How callous is that?"

There's a reason Engler is tying photo IDs to abortion rights in his rant. The intelligence of Missouri's women has come up in hearings about two recent bills: one that allows medical staff to opt out of a medical procedure because of "conscience rights", and one that requires a 74-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion.

See also: 72 Hours Later: How a Mizzou Student Turned Waiting into an Abortion Rights Protest

Newman has vehemently opposed the bill allowing doctors to bow out of abortions on a whim, saying the government shouldn't interfere with access to health care.


"This is the body trying to put themselves in our gynecology offices, telling our doctors exactly what they can and can't do," Newman said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "This is one more vagina-specific bill in an election year."

Democrats have also come out against extending Missouri's waiting limit for abortions to 72 hours from 24 hours. Opponents say the delay only increases the risk of problems during the abortion and dismisses a woman's autonomous ability to make her own decisions.

See also: MO Senator Kevin Engler to State Butterfly: Get the Hell Out

So after all the debate about how Missouri women are intelligent and capable enough to make health decisions without required waiting periods or depending on the conscience of their medical team, Engler says, it is "callous" to say women aren't intelligent and capable enough to get photo IDs for elections.

"One week, you say, 'My people are very bright,' and the next week, 'Nope, they're not smart enough to get photo IDs,'" Engler says. "To say women are not capable of that is a disservice to them."

Engler wants to require ID at the polls to strengthen the integrity of the voting process, which special caveats for the elderly or those who can't afford an ID. The bill is controversial, with critics pointing to Jim Crow laws, literacy tests and other methods to prevent blacks from voting in the South.

Engler rejects the idea that photo ID rules are racist or prejudiced, so he says he gets fed up when other politicians call his opinion derogatory.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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33 comments
jansorders
jansorders

Engler should be asked to explain how a married woman, with no driver's license, passport or other government ID, who was born at home 85 years ago, goes about getting a photo ID in her married name.


Or even how a woman, who has a birth certificate, in the name of Jane Doe, goes about proving that she, now Jane Smith, was is really Jane Doe, if she was married in another country 50 years ago. 



jansorders
jansorders

I wonder if Engler could tell you how a married woman, with no driver's license or other gov't issued ID, who goes by her married name, and was born at home, and does not have a birth certificate, goes about getting a government issued photo ID. 

jimmysfotos
jimmysfotos

@RiverfrontTimes Do you even read you own article before you tweet? Not at all what he said. He was saying the opposite using sarcasm!

Laura Annette Miller
Laura Annette Miller

So why can't I vote? Because you don't like how I might vote...THAT is the point of the article. Game, Set, Match.

Alex Peck
Alex Peck

Yeah,thanks alot.65%of females voted for Obama.Look at the crap we're in now..He took all you for a ride..

Laura Annette Miller
Laura Annette Miller

Attacking women over abortion on an ID for voting debate; priceless. Let's think about this. Women happen to be the only gender expected to change our names. Yet, when we do there is an awkward period where some things have migrated, like our ID!, while others are in transition. Yet I can be turned away because I was registered to vote Laura Becker, but I am now Laura Miller. Did I do anything wrong? No. Am I ineligible to vote because I got married - no. Am I still a citizen, yes. Over 18; yes. So why exactly did I get turned away? My address matches. Yet, you just disenfranchised me. Additionally you have put a burden on me as a woman because your name doesn't change. Oh, and let's not forget that more women vote Dem, especially in the city. Rabid Feminist, You Too are Feminist, Melissa Marie Young

George Cameron
George Cameron

And yet I'm not a Republican. And yet you haven't offered up a single rebuttal to my logical points. Your opinion, therefore, is utterly worthless. Thank you for not contributing!

Ann Marie Barry
Ann Marie Barry

George Cameron, you're such a good Republican! Calling someone names because you don't like to hear the truth. Please ask any, any, Republican Politician, Strategist and/or Consultant why they want voter id laws. If they tell you the truth, they will say that they need to deny voters who vote Democratic to win elections! Il s'agit d'un âne! ✌

Linda SansSouci
Linda SansSouci

Okay gals: Blow up this pic, post it on poster board, and there is your new dart board!

mikeymandel
mikeymandel

@RiverfrontTimes men & women are always equal, it's education that makes ir breaks a gender/race etc. Why are people still challenging women

Patrick Gonzales
Patrick Gonzales

Rights are not conditional upon what uninformed folks like yourself think "they should also have to".

Patrick Gonzales
Patrick Gonzales

I bet you don't believe asking for ID at a gun show is OK.

Patrick Gonzales
Patrick Gonzales

No background checks for a gun? NO VOTER ID. NEITHER are in the Constitution.

Patrick Gonzales
Patrick Gonzales

Presenting proper identification isn't found in the Constitution, is it? However, signing or affirmation is.

Ann Marie Barry
Ann Marie Barry

There was no voter fraud yesterday, today nor will there be any tomorrow. There's never been a problem with voter fraud. The problem is that the Republicans have a smaller voting base and to win elections they have to deny voters, who don't and will never vote for them, their right to vote! ✌

Patrick Gonzales
Patrick Gonzales

By signing an affidavit stating that one is a Citizen of the United States, they are stating under Oath that they are indeed eligible to vote.

Paula Key Springmeyer
Paula Key Springmeyer

Where did the gun issue even come into play? I realize people voted long before ID's were invented, but the rules change over the course of time and people need to obey them to keep things fair. All I'm saying is there is no reason you can't go out and get a photo ID. If you have nothing to hide it shouldn't be an issue. Thank you for the discussion.

Patrick Gonzales
Patrick Gonzales

The right to vote is in the US Constitution. People voted in this country centuries before ID's were invented. No background checks for gun purchases? NO VOTER ID.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

I think you should wait 72 hours before responding, you might need some time to think on it...

Paula Key Springmeyer
Paula Key Springmeyer

Just an ID and being registered to vote. That's all you need. I didn't bring up any of the other issues you just did.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

What other requirements do you have for voting? Poll tax? Literacy test? Grandfather clause?

Paula Key Springmeyer
Paula Key Springmeyer

I am not talking bout someone who is physically unable to go out and obtain a photo ID. There should be something in place for those people to get one. I am talking about the ones who choose not to go get one. If you do not have an ID then you should not be able to vote.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

What if you are a disabled person of limited means? Is it plain and simple in every case?

Paula Key Springmeyer
Paula Key Springmeyer

If you are too lazy to go out and get an ID, then you shouldn't be able to vote. Plain and simple.

Ann Marie Barry
Ann Marie Barry

I can say with certainty, the women in Missouri are not even close to his stupidity! I'm sure he doesn't have a long career ahead of him! ✌

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman

Well it's true, You can't have it both ways.

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